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Tomb Raider (2013)


Capwn
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I finished this last night - loved it. Such an atmospheric game, it looked incredible and the combat was really good. Yeah, I know it's not really anything like the other TR games, but this is a great engine by the looks of things, and I can see them building on this quite easily. I hope there's bigger and more complicated puzzles in the sequel though, the optional tombs were nice, but they were so small and so few that they seemed like an afterthought.

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Finished this once on normal and now back to the point if no return on hard.

On first play through I rattled through it driven on by the plot and rarely paused for any collectibles that I didn't stumble upon.

This time around I have been taking a more relaxed approach trying to complete each hub area in turn, finding all back story documents and relics.

This along with the harder combat has meant a much longer time spent in each hub and far more exploration and platforming and since the islanders don't re spawn a greater sense of quiet isolation.

Shipwreck coast has the balance right - for me they nailed it here.

Overall I have loved it, good story, excellent graphics, platforming and combat.

Next time around throw in more level spanning or multi room puzzling and it will be perfect.

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Shipwreck coast has the balance right - for me they nailed it here.

Spent a good few hours around that area last night.. Stunning stuff and as you say seems to strike the perfect balance (enjoyed the forest section before it too).

It also makes all those accusations of a lack of exploration even more obsurd!

At the moment I really don't want this to end!

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Finished this once on normal and now back to the point if no return on hard.

On first play through I rattled through it driven on by the plot and rarely paused for any collectibles that I didn't stumble upon.

This time around I have been taking a more relaxed approach trying to complete each hub area in turn, finding all back story documents and relics.

This along with the harder combat has meant a much longer time spent in each hub and far more exploration and platforming and since the islanders don't re spawn a greater sense of quiet isolation.

Shipwreck coast has the balance right - for me they nailed it here.

Overall I have loved it, good story, excellent graphics, platforming and combat.

Next time around throw in more level spanning or multi room puzzling and it will be perfect.

Is there anything new to be gained by playing on Hard?

Spent a good few hours around that area last night.. Stunning stuff and as you say seems to strike the perfect balance (enjoyed the forest section before it too).

It also makes all those accusations of a lack of exploration even more obsurd!

At the moment I really don't want this to end!

I know, if you imagine there's a cave roof over the island then you've got your tombs. ;)

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When exactly is the point of no return? Do you get a warning?

I'm currently at...

The bit where the boat has been fixed, and Sam has been kidnapped AGAIN!

Is that close to the end? It feels like an end game scenario is imminent. I don't want to suddenly get caught up in it, without doing a bit more exploring first.

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We played through this yesterday on PS3 in a single sitting (took us about 10-11 hours for the main story and one or two of the optional tombs). I was very impressed with it. The first Tomb Raider game was one of my favourites, but I never felt that any game in the series managed to get that feeling of epic adventure across. This one delivered in spades though. It pretty much took the Tomb Raider formula and brought it bang up to date by taking the good stuff from games like Uncharted and Arkham Asylum, polishing and balancing it brilliantly throughout while still keeping its own identify. My fear was a dumbed down QTE heavy Uncharted wannabe, but we got an even more cinematic Uncharted 2 beater. Especially the way the camera was handled through the game was brilliant, best use of camera movement since Gears of Wars surprised us with its cinematic chase cam.

I found the ending a bit abrupt and underwhelming though, especially the bossfight was so easy (did it in my first try without even getting hit once) that I thought there would be another one coming right after. Instead, we got a cutscene. Oh well. Didn't do much to diminish my enjoyment, I love games like these so a 9/10 from me. Just bought a Steam copy from Amazon.com ($49.99) so I can play a bit more of it tonight :)

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I find APM's description of the combat hilarious. It's like he played a different game to me.

Also it's interesting the way he describes it, because actually it amounts to my criticism of the combat - that's all about surface-level 'variety'. So he's like oh I could blast my shotgun, or use the bow, or blow them up with a grenade or do a finisher. The devs seem to have the same idea - let's give the player a variety of slightly different ways to do the same thing (throughout the game and throughout the genre). So you can shoot people in a burning monastery, a ship, a camp. It's all very exciting and compelling. Not only do you play in a variety of different environments, but sometimes you have to shoot people that are far away and sometimes you have to shoot people that are close to you! It's pretty amazing stuff.

If anyone's on the fence about the game on the basis of the combat, personally I'd say the combat veers more towards Soong's description of it being 'dull' than it does APM's of it being 'fresh, engaging and compelling'. It's absolutely competent but it rarely rises to the level of interesting or exciting, even on Hard.

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I liked the combat a lot actually. The selection of weapons, upgrades and moves, the whole dodge-attack mechanic, the various enemy types and locations. Combat is infrequent, usually relatively short but brutal and serve as welcome breaks. Not too many bulletsponge enemy types either, they drove me up the wall in Uncharted 3.

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Finished the story last night and spent about 5 hours today getting to 100% on the collectibles, apart from the challenge items which are, for the most part, one OCD step too far.

As usual I only really took note of the achievements towards the end so finished in a largely empty gameworld with no more enemies to kill but still with several kill-related achievements un-won. Same happened with Far Cry 3.

Overall I loved it. Not enough tombs and puzzles by a long way but less hair-tearing and more all out enjoyment as a result. No bugs either, just the right length.

Hurrah/10

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The bow in this is fantastic - really satisfying to use. The mechanic of holding down the right trigger for powered up shots is neat, and properly makes it feel like you're nailing the baddies with your shots.

The combat is really easy on normal though - is it much more difficult on hard? I don't think I've died a single time from being shot, the different weapons are so empowering that it doesn't feel as frantic as, say, Uncharted 2.

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